And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.…
These words of apostolic desire open to us three blessed Christian possibilities - a possibility to the Church, a possibility to the individual, and a possibility to the inner life of each.
I. THE FORMIDABLE STRENGTH POSSIBLE TO A CHRISTIAN CHURCH. The apostle declares that it gave him joy to behold the condition of the Colossian Church; indeed, the words he uses describe his looking again and again because el the joy it gave him. What gave him such joy?
1. Their orderly array.
2. Their solid front,
as the word "stead, fastness" here depicts. In the centre of the military world, and made a soldier's guard, no wonder Paul lays his hands on metaphors so vividly suggesting precision, compactness, obedience. He sees how a Church can be perfectly marshalled for its mission - the mission of a holy war against ignorance, pride, selfishness, sin. Well for a Church to have its every member a "defender of the faith."
II. THE CONSTANT GROWTH POSSIBLE TO THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER. The growth implies life.
1. The origin of the life is here described. It is "having received Christ." As Simeon took the holy infant into his arms, the true Christian receives Christ into his trust, thoughts, affections.
2. The progress of life is here described. The three metaphors used, of a path, a tree, a structure, teach the same lesson of intimate and advancing union with Christ. Whether walking, or being rooted, or being built, it is all "in Christ."
III. THE PERPETUAL THANKSGIVING POSSIBLE IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. This summons to thanksgiving is a sort of refrain throughout the Epistle (Colossians 1:10; Colossians 3:15, 17; Colossians 4:2). Faber inquires whether there can be true worship without joy. Because he asserts, "Worship is not fear of God or love of God, but delight in God." This is Paul's exposition and doctrine, for there must be joy in thanksgiving. And perpetual thanksgiving is the true spirit of those who are
(1) objects of perpetual providence;
(2) subjects of perpetual grace.
Therefore abound with thanksgiving. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.